[Cairo - 14 December, 2023] - The Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity (MOSS), in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and UNDP Egypt, under the joint project "Strengthening the Institutional Capacities and Human Resources of the Ministry of Social Solidarity," launched the groundbreaking National Social Observatory, entailing the building of a national database that aims to capture the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the country's most vulnerable families benefiting from social protection schemes.
The launch, attended by the Minister of Social Solidarity, H.E. Dr. Nivine El Kabbag, Head of EU Delegation to Egypt, H.E. Ambassador Christian Berger, UNDP Egypt Resident Representative, Mr. Alessandro Fracassetti, signifies a pivotal step in supporting the most vulnerable. This Observatory is an integral component of the joint project's mission to strengthen institutional capacities and human resources within the Ministry of Social Solidarity. It is also anticipated to serve as a crucial tool beyond the project’s duration, providing valuable insights into the socio-behavioral changes among beneficiaries of the Takaful and Karama program, thus measuring impacts in the short, medium, and long terms.
The "National Social Observatory" is the first of its kind, focusing on the Takaful and Karama program beneficiaries, encompassing approximately 5.3 million families. The gathered data will facilitate informed policy-making and responsive interventions by the Ministry of Social Solidarity.
The launch event spotlighted the observatory's multi-staged approach, encompassing the development of household questionnaires and specialized surveys to be implemented by qualified social workers nationwide. This aims to monitor family characteristics, assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to the Waai Programme for Community Development’s critical social protections issues; including family planning, maternal and child health, hygiene practices, among others.
Moreover, in a significant step toward creating a national database, the launch event showcased the successful implementation and findings of a pilot survey across four governorates, validating the effectiveness of the questionnaire, implementation model, and infrastructure. This entailed training 28 field supervisors and 160 social workers on data collection methods and tools to measure social and behavioral change induced among MOSS’s target groups through Wa’ai Programme interventions. Over 4,000 families in Cairo, Giza, Minya, and Sohag were targeted in this initial stage, with over 250 field supervisors and approximately 15,000 female leaders expected to participate in subsequent phases.
Minister of Social Solidarity H.E. . Dr. Nivine El Kabbag emphasized, "This initiative addresses prevalent social and economic issues among vulnerable groups, promoting awareness among Takaful and Karama beneficiaries. Our comprehensive approach ensures integrated development, in alignment with the Ministry’s comprehensive package of services provided to the most vulnerable groups, including education, health, protection, and job opportunities."
The event also marked the official launch of the training plan, which aims to strengthen capacities of 3,200 social workers across 15 governorates, supporting the observatory's enhanced outreach and impact. Social workers play a pivotal role in fostering awareness through delivery of critical social protection messages under the Waai Programme to Takaful and Karama beneficiaries. The Waai Programme, in particular, exemplifies the transformative power of awareness-raising in reshaping attitudes and behaviors.
Head of EU Delegation to Egypt, H.E. Ambassador Christian Berger, stated: “I'd like to take this opportunity to emphasize that this event will help us to make sure that our interventions are focused and effective, in accordance with our shared commitments to promote women's empowerment and the prevention of violence against women and girls. Empowering women and youth and protecting them from gender-based violence are major priorities for the European Union and the Egyptian government."
UNDP Egypt Resident Representative Alessandro Fracassetti underscored the significance of the National Social Observatory, stating, "With its launch, we take a substantial stride toward real-time screening and analysis of socio-economic conditions affecting the most vulnerable groups. The training of 3,200 social workers is also of paramount importance, enhancing their capacity to address critical social protection issues under the Wa’ai Programme." Mr. Fracassetti added, “today marks the beginning of a transformative journey, one that harnesses the power of information and awareness to bring about real, tangible change.”